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3rd round application Dilemma

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3rd round application Dilemma [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2009, 19:27
Hi Alex,

To tell you my story in brief: I applied to 4 schools for Fall 2009 for a full time MBA program. Wharton, Columbia, Booth and Kellogg. I was denied admission from W and C without interviews and from B and K after interviewing with them. I had planned on applying to NYU Stern and Berkeley but decided not to since I wasn't quite sure I really wanted to go to either of those if I got in.

I did not apply to any other schools in Round 2 deciding to reapply for Fall 2010. Considering the job situation and economy right now, I am facing a dilemma: whether I should apply to NYU and/or a couple of other schools in the last round or wait until the next year, strengthen my application and target at least Booth and Kellogg along with others.

My Profile is as follows:
GMAT: 710, Age: 28, Male Indian with a master's degree in Electrical Engineering from a US University
3.5 years of WE in High Tech in the US

Extracurriculars: Significant involvement with local chapters of two professional societies and teaching a language to beginners and intermediate students

Do you think it makes any sense applying to the schools in the last rounds given my profile? Or should I wait it out and reapply later this year?

Your feedback is highly appreciated.

Thanks
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Re: 3rd round application Dilemma [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2009, 09:43
Sorry to hear about the dings.

Based on what little info you've provided, it seems like you are a middle-of-the-road Indian IT dude, which means that there are folks like you who get into these schools, and many who don't as well. It's easy to get lost in the shuffle and that is what may have happened to your applications this year.

As for applying to Round 3 at NYU and any other school, that's really a personal decision. Know that Round 3 is an even bigger gamble and you're even more likely to get lost in the shuffle (because chances are, there would've been quite a number of Indian IT guys like yourself who may have already accepted NYU in Rounds 1 and 2).

Assuming you did your best on the applications this year, you will still face a similar issue next year at Booth or Kellogg -- you'll be competing against many other candidates who have very similar profiles as yourself and it will come down to luck of the draw - again there's definitely people like you at these schools, but just as many who don't get in for some reason or *no* reason.

It's sort of like that image of a bunch of men standing by the shipping docks waiting to see if they get hired to work the docks that day. They're all healthy, able and willing - and they seem to have similar builds and height. The foreman comes out, scans the crowd and seemingly picks out men at random - mostly in the front, some in the middle, and a few in the back of the crowd.

All you can do really is to do your best to get to the dock early so you can secure your place at the front of the crowd, and then hope that the foreman picks you.
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Re: 3rd round application Dilemma [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2009, 14:50
Thanks for your response.

Is it just luck that can get you into a top school if you are a part of the "male Indian Techie" demographic?

Do strong extracurriculars matter at all?

What can set you apart from the crowd?

AlexMBAApply wrote:
Sorry to hear about the dings.

Based on what little info you've provided, it seems like you are a middle-of-the-road Indian IT dude, which means that there are folks like you who get into these schools, and many who don't as well. It's easy to get lost in the shuffle and that is what may have happened to your applications this year.

As for applying to Round 3 at NYU and any other school, that's really a personal decision. Know that Round 3 is an even bigger gamble and you're even more likely to get lost in the shuffle (because chances are, there would've been quite a number of Indian IT guys like yourself who may have already accepted NYU in Rounds 1 and 2).

Assuming you did your best on the applications this year, you will still face a similar issue next year at Booth or Kellogg -- you'll be competing against many other candidates who have very similar profiles as yourself and it will come down to luck of the draw - again there's definitely people like you at these schools, but just as many who don't get in for some reason or *no* reason.

It's sort of like that image of a bunch of men standing by the shipping docks waiting to see if they get hired to work the docks that day. They're all healthy, able and willing - and they seem to have similar builds and height. The foreman comes out, scans the crowd and seemingly picks out men at random - mostly in the front, some in the middle, and a few in the back of the crowd.

All you can do really is to do your best to get to the dock early so you can secure your place at the front of the crowd, and then hope that the foreman picks you.

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Re: 3rd round application Dilemma [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2009, 18:19
It's not *just* luck, but also the quality of the application. However, assuming that they did a great job on the application, it still comes down to luck. Strong extracurriculars help (which isn't unique to Indian engineers), but it's not really one thing. Again, there are plenty of Indian ex-engineers at top schools, but there's also plenty who didn't get in.

From a practical perspective, you can't change your background. You don't have a time machine to go back and pursue a non-engineering career.

What you can do is to focus on what's within your control - doing the best you can on the application and conveying who you are as an *individual* in the essays, rec letters and interviews. In other words, there are TONS of people who may have a similar resume, similar background, and maybe even similar non-work interests - but what makes you an individual? It's a hard thing to convey if you aren't self-aware of your own individuality, and doubly hard if you have a profile that is similar to others. It can be done, but it takes a lot of introspection and work. The tone of your writing or your speech certainly helps. Your personality and your subjective viewpoint that is apparent in how you characterize your experience also can help.

And even then, you may meet your fellow compatriots at these top schools and wonder, "how are these Indian ex-techies any different than me?" On the surface, probably not a whole lot is different. But it's really what's "under the hood" (how they are able to convey who they are as individuals beyond the surface-level resume/extracurriculars stuff) as well as luck of the draw. And this isn't really a unique challenge to Indian engineers -- all applicants save for the ones with the most unique or exceptional profiles face these same challenges as well.
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Re: 3rd round application Dilemma   [#permalink] 13 Feb 2009, 18:19
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